Do you think Indian schools should adopt preventive health curriculum and counselling for students?

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Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is sitting there since 1975 but being implemented in schools very recently that is also in inadequate amount at least that’s been my experience so far.

While it is a proven truth that most non communicable diseases can be prevented by proper and regular health check-up in preschool , school and adolescent years it is a pity that very few states or even very few schools are even bothered about it!

As long as my childhood memories go, I along with all other my schoolmates were supplied with weekly one kg of rice bags! How is it related to health please do not ask me.

Now my sister is in class six and that rice bag has turned into mid-day meal program, quite a brilliant initiative I must say except that only mid-day meal can never be a proper replacement for their dietary nutrition.

Yes, ours is a poverty stricken, third world country I know that, and mid-day meal or iron folic acid tablets and even cycles being supplied to children is really worth appreciating.

But is that all we can offer? Some iron tablets cause everyone in India is supposed to be anaemic! Yea that’s true but what about the bigger picture? Anaemia is not the only problem we are facing right now, the iceberg should be Malnutrition, Obesity and emaciation both are the variants of it. And currently we are facing a big issue over there.

If we check the various diseases plaguing India right now

China vs. India: Top 10 Causes of Death

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  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary Artery Disease

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And I am not even considering the various infectious diseases including

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  • Tuberculosis
  • Viral Infections leading to Hepatitis

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Quite surprisingly all of these can either be prevented or early diagnosed only if our school health education and health programs are apt enough.

Take the leading cause of infertility in Indian women Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), stems from Metabolic Syndrome (medical condition), nothing but lack of proper guidance on Nutrition leading to such devastating complications.

Overweight adults are facing the risks of Diabetes, Body Mass Index (BMI) maintained adults are dealing with increased chances of Atherosclerosis, or other Lifestyle Disorders.

Now World Health Organization (WHO) has very defined and specific rules about health guidelines in school years. The reason that Health Promotion is leading Preventive Medicine is because through this approach we can gift disease free longer lives to our dearest, also modify DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Years)

Global school health initiative

The guidelines can be checked here. As ours is a struggling country we need more and more participation from government and private sectors to build health promoting schools as envisioned by World Health Organization (WHO).

Digitalization of medical records, vaccination records will be more helpful and catering to masses. Yes call it b*ll*cks, but 30 years ago none could have thought we Indians will have printed immunization schedule to majority of parents why not digitalize then? More 10 years down the lane we can actually make that work or may be even earlier!

Now in answer thread, Kajal really caught my attention, as she mentioned aptly the various vices that can be prevented efficiently through such initiatives of primordial prevention and which is such a sensitive topic that I had been avoiding till now in this long discussion.

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  • Substance Abuse
  • AIDS
  • Teen Suicide

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All of these can be early diagnosed and managed accordingly in most cases, all we need is a bunch of good health care service providers willing to work in each corner of our country, to provide basic health check up to schools

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  • To diagnose diseases in early stage
  • To promote healthy lifestyle

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Along with

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  • Nutrition counselling to promote healthy eating habits
  • Psychology analysis and Counselling accordingly

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In this long discussion I could not even touch the topics how a regular check-up in schools and having emergency services ready at school level can significantly improve morbidity in later life and as an immediate effect you see a performance boost in academics or In sports had earlier any underlying pathology was bothering your child.

Over demanding? It’s high time we consider what kind of future we are offering to our kids! Diagnosed with diabetes at just 35 or creating mesmerizing art at 80.

Peace!

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